A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this. Abita first released their Oyster Stout under the Select banner back in November 2011. It was based upon a winning homebrew recipe from a competition they held in the fall of 2010. That Select release was one of the best beers I’ve had from Abita, and many others echoed that sentiment. So when photos of Bad Mother Shucker bottles surfaced this spring, there were a lot of excited people who were looking forward to its return. Well, I’m here to tell those people to settle down.
This is what Abita says about Bad Mother Shucker:
Deep in the oyster beds of Louisiana surfaces one Bad Mother Shucker – Abita’s Oyster Stout. Brewed with pale, caramel, roasted and chocolate malts, this Mother Shucker is hopped up with Willamette hops and balanced out with the sweet and full flavors of oats. Fresh Louisiana Oysters are added to the boil in the final stages, infusing a slight taste of sea salt that offsets the sharpness of the stout.
This version was a complete swing and a miss, in my opinion. When poured, it doesn’t look like a stout. I mean, this looks like a brown ale, maybe a porter. Just pouring from bottle to glass, it’s easy to see that it’s not going to be a big, rich stout. There’s a bit of roastiness on the nose, and maybe a bit of dark chocolate and caramel. I got none of the salinity from the oysters. The taste was really disappointing. There’s some sharp roastiness going on, and not much else. The mouthfeel is super thin and the oats that were present in the batch a few years ago are definitely missed. For a beer that I was excited to see return, this one really missed the mark. It’s disappointing that what was a fantastic oyster stout, is now a thin and sharp mess.
I really can’t recommend this beer, and that’s a shame, because I know the guy whose recipe it was, and it was so much more than this version. Sorry Abita, you can do better.